As one of the busiest rooms in your home, your kitchen is likely a high priority for redecorating. Keeping it fresh and stylish makes it much nicer to spend time there, and can often improve functionality too. However, one of the biggest decisions to make is not your colour scheme or individual style features — it's your benchtops.
Whatever you choose to have your kitchen benchtops made out of, it will take up a lot of space in your kitchen. That makes it a huge influence on how the rest of the room looks, for better or for worse. A busy pattern can serve to distract the eye and make your space look smaller. On the other hand, the right modern-looking surface can make the kitchen seem bigger and brighter. Marble has always been a popular choice — but is it the only option?
If money is no object and you're really looking to splash out, real marble countertops are a good bet. They will never go out of style, and you can find marble in many different colours and vein patterns. Especially when it comes to the more flowery and extravagant patterns, no two marble slabs are alike. However, you should only consider marble if budget is not a concern for you, as it can be extremely expensive.
If you like the look of marble but can't quite justify the price tag, then quartz is a great alternative. It's manufactured, not found, so very regular veins and patterns are available. Whether you consider this a bonus or a detriment depends on what you're looking for. Either way, these benchtops will give a great, sparkling effect which can be either classic or modern, depending on how it is dressed.
For those looking to blend look with functionality, granite is an excellent choice. Mimicking the bright and veined look of marble and quartz, polished granite gives you that look and feel without sacrificing any durability. In fact, granite is durable enough to endure hot pans directly on the benchtop surface; in a busy household kitchen, this could be extremely useful. It's also cheaper than both quartz and marble. Naturally, it will never look exactly like the real thing, but it's certainly close enough for most consumers.
Of course, there are plenty of other options available for those looking for a more distinctly modern look, or something entirely different. However, these classic materials are timelessly, and that makes them a safe bet for any kitchen improvement project.